Images by Shimahara, courtesy of Omgivning


What would you do with an old and empty building? Would you tear it down, leave it abandoned, or could you transform it into something new?  Cities all around the world are wrestling with this very challenge. The question then becomes, what can architecture do about it?

At DesignClass we are passionate about responding to the challenges of life through well-considered design.

We don't think good design is exclusive to brand-new buildings, created on empty lots. There are literally millions of buildings around the world, in millions of communities that could be adapted to a new purpose in a beautiful way. 

Think of the opportunities that await cities like Detroit, where entire skyscrapers lie empty, waiting for a visionary person to come along. You could be that visionary. You have the power to impact communities.

This brings us to the Adaptive Reuse Architecture Design Competition.

This is your challenge, reimagine an existing and underutilized building into a beautiful piece of architecture that positively impacts your community. To showcase your design, you'll be creating up to 5 images and a written description explaining your reasoning and process.

Step 1

The first step is to find a building in your community that you'd like to redefine. Remember, this is more than remodeling and swapping out paint colors, the point is to identify a place that can have a second chance at life through your design.

Step 2

Next, think about and analyze what type of design would serve that building. Are you converting an old factory into urban lofts? Are you adapting a derelict church into a beautiful family home? Maybe you're transforming a old mall into a sleek office building? The possibilities are endless.

Step 3

Once you've decided, create an amazing piece of adaptive reuse architecture that showcases your talent and the untapped opportunity in the building you've chosen.

Award Criteria

Your submission will include up to 5 images of your design plus a written description explaining your reasoning and process. It will be rated on the following criteria.

Architectural Design
Innovation 0-15
Community Impact 0-15
Practicality 0-10
Presentation 0-10

Interested in learning more about how judges evaluated designs? Read the full Award Criteria document.

Learn how to be a champion of adaptive reuse architecture in your city.

Join Omgivning Founder, Karin Liljegren, FAIA in her first DesignClass as she delves deep into adaptive reuse architecture and how it can impact a city's future.

You'll learn about design, creating policy, partnerships, writing strong contracts, hiring the right team, and how to be an influential voice in your community. 

By the end of this DesignClass you'll learn the exact processes Karin and her team use to advance the role of the architect in designing & developing great urban environments.

Learn More

Join this competition and we plant a tree! 
DesignClass is a climate positive company. 

We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi